rabindranath tagore in conversation with albert einstein

AUGUST 19, 1930

TAGORE: I was discussing with Dr. Mendel today the new mathematical discoveries which tell us that in the realm of infinitesimal atoms chance has its play; the drama of existence is not absolutely predestined in character.

EINSTEIN: The facts that make science tend toward this view do not say good-bye to causality.

TAGORE: Maybe not, yet it appears that the idea of causality is not in the elements, but that some other force builds up with them an organized universe.

EINSTEIN: One tries to understand in the higher plane how the order is. The order is there, where the big elements combine and guide existence, but in the minute elements this order is not perceptible.

TAGORE: Thus duality is in the depths of existence, the contradiction of free impulse and the directive will which works upon it and evolves an orderly scheme of things.

EINSTEIN: Modern physics would not say they are contradictory. Clouds look as one from a distance, but if you see them nearby, they show themselves as disorderly drops of water.

TAGORE: I find a parallel in human psychology. Our passions and desires are unruly, but our character subdues these elements into a harmonious whole. Does something similar to this happen in the physical world? Are the elements rebellious, dynamic with individual impulse? And is there a principle in the physical world which dominates them and puts them into an orderly organization?

EINSTEIN: Even the elements are not without statistical order; elements of radium will always maintain their specific order, now and ever onward, just as they have done all along. There is, then, a statistical order in the elements.

TAGORE: Otherwise, the drama of existence would be too desultory. It is the constant harmony of chance and determination which makes it eternally new and living.

EINSTEIN: I believe that whatever we do or live for has its causality; it is good, however, that we cannot see through to it.
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infinite body collapse

Screening of new video delay works by Alex Carpenter with dancer Alexis Maxwell

Perhaps ghosts don’t exist “between” normal points of focus, but reside at the core of these points. The essence of things lies within the things, not somewhere else. We don’t need to make the things softer and more delicate, just because we imagine an essence that is itself soft and delicate. If anything, we need to make the things LOUDER, MORE forceful, MORE singular. Maybe then, once our perception tires of the surface layers, becomes exhausted, we will at last see the fragile core that has always eluded us.

“Infinite Body Collapse” is a collection of new works by Alex Carpenter, drawn from recent video delay sessions with dancer Alexis Maxwell, as well as audio delay recordings made this summer in an allegedly haunted house in Alexandria, Virginia.

Through Alex’s video delay system, performed actions (danced, drawn, light-operated) are captured and layered continuously upon playback with previous cyclical generations, providing material for the performer to build on in a largely “unthinking” way. The system engages the performer in a focused, ecstatic process of observing and responding, as normal points of focus are saturated, obliterated, and a space is cleared for the unfolding of activity on a different scale.

This excerpt demonstrates perfectly how the best video delay material is built – with an emphasis on potential within the material, rather than a creator’s plan realized “through” material. This is not “composition”, it is excavation – a digging through to something normally invisible…

Microscope Gallery
4 Charles Place, Brooklyn
Saturday October 6th, 7pm ($6)

review by sound fix records (brooklyn)

From time to time a local artist sans record label will come in with a self-released album that blows us away. This is one of those times! Ella Joyce Buckley is a native of South Africa now based in Brooklyn, and the music on her lovely hand-made CD, Blood Finds No Sea, is an enthralling example of how much more a songwriter can be than just a person with songs and an instrument. Existing equally in the acoustic (as in, played instruments — a range of them) and electronic, Blood Finds No Sea is dramatic, intense and, in the most luminous way, Goth as hell. You can imagine her right at home on 4AD in the mid-’80s, when Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance were mixing shimmeringly bright colors into darkness (and elsewhere, Danielle Dax was at her best). With vast creativity, Buckley manipulates her  gorgeous vocals into choirs, housefuls of spirits even, while strings both plucked and bowed ebb and swell, and keys poke holes in the darkness. The title track spires upward, like Tolkien’s elvish national anthem (oh, just indulge me), with Buckley’s double-tracked vox fixed in place while the music ascends around her. “Sister” features Buckley’s most extravagant vocal, with a plucked violin (I think?) leading into a howling mix of percussion and electronics. Buckley’s arranging skills are advanced — you could easily picture her scoring theater works (besides films), and perhaps she already does. For now, there is this CD, and it comes highly recommended.

Review from Sound Fix Records – 44 Berry St., Brooklyn New York 11211 – (718) 388-8090 | Williamsburg’s Independent Record store